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Studying Our Thoughts About Morality

Credit Frederic Poirot

In the comments, please define the following three ideas, in order, in one sentence each and starting with the phrase, "A _____ person is a person who..."

1. A good person

2. A person who is not good but not bad

3. A bad person

(If what you believe has already been said, that's alright. I'm just looking for responses, not original ideas.

Answers don't need to be groundbreaking, I want to know what you really think of when you hear these terms, not how you would intellectually define them.


If you want to remain anonymous, fill the form out using the name "Anon" and the email address "Anon@anon.com"

Please try to avoid reading others' answers until after you've left your own.

The results will be analyzed and published in a post--this blog is, of course, not the only or even the primary means of info gathering. Thanks for your participation!

Reader Comments (15)

A good person is a person who acts selflessly and is kind and respectful to everybody despite everything. Also somebody whose intentions are for the betterment of themselves and those around them

A person who isn’t good or bad is somebody who might do something mean or something but on accident, not intending to harm anybody or anything.

A bad person is a person who intentionally harms people or just doesn’t think or care about the affects of their actions

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

“A _____ person is a person who…”

1. A good person is a person who is capable of empathy and compassion, and is able to act on it even if it means putting his needs second.

2. A person who is not good but not bad strives to make himself and those he loves happy, sometimes at the cost of others.

3. A bad person knows about the needs of others and is able to provide for them but only attends to his own.

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

A good person is an individual who makes the general wellness of the people around them their own concern, though they do not necessarily have to disregard their own wants, and then acts according to principles of equity and fairness, justice, and consideration in encouraging that wellness by the appropriate means according to aforesaid principles.

A person who is not good but not bad is someone who seeks their own ends according to principles which do not abuse, harm, or generally diminish the quality of life for the people or the environment in which they live, but do not put it at any value greater than according to their self-interest; a neutral person is someone who is self-interested, but does not view harm as an inherently acceptable means to achieving their goals.

A bad person is someone who pursues entirely their own ends entirely without regard for anyone or anything which they stand to gain from by abuse, misuse, or general harm, completely unconcerned with any principles beyond their own benefit; a bad person sees the opportunity to gain from the disregard for the well being or the outright harm of others as a fair and legitimate means by which to achieve their own ends.

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTony

A good person is a person who possesses sufficiently many protopersonal characteristics and few or no protoimpersonal characteristics, or other characteristics contradictory to protopersonal characteristics.

A person who is not good but not bad is a person who possesses no protopersonal characteristics and also possesses no protoimpersonal or counter-protopersonal characteristics.

A bad person is a person who possesses few or no protopersonal characteristics and many protoimpersonal or counter-protopersonal characteristics.

In short, a good person is a characteristically personlike person, a bad person is a characteristically non-personlike person, and a person who is neither bad nor good is a person of whom it can be said neither that he is characteristically personlike nor that he is characteristically non-personlike.

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfs

Thanks everyone for your replies so far. Please try to stick to practical definitions, as it were, rather than abstract ones.

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternschmitt

or snarky ones.

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTony

I think a good person loves. They love all beings and put the needs of all others before their own. They are not self-seeking.

A person who is neither good nor bad does not necessarily do bad things or mean-spirited things, but does not go out of their way to think about the needs of others, like the good person would do. They might be "nice" people, or pleasant people to be around even, funny, but they don't have thoughts about helping others, etc. They are usually self-seeking, but not in "evil" ways; i.e., they don't step on people to get what they want. They simply think only of their own success. I know a lot of these people.

A bad person. Hmm. I honestly don't think I believe there are "bad" people. I think there are good people who have strayed or fallen. I don't think I can answer this, b/c I think good people can do bad things and lose themselves. All people have the potential for good and bad. It's hard to say. But I guess if I had to define a "bad person", I would say it was a person who cares not about the well-being of other people or beings, or of the world, one who has no problem using other people, one whose mind is constantly centered on worldly things in a negative way (I guess what I mean by that is "greedy"/"I don't have this wah wah"). Yeah. This is hard. Lol. Thanks for getting me thinking, Nate!

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjennechristine

A good person is a person who respects the interests of others and is aware of what those interests are - a good person does not interfere with the efforts of others to achieve happiness for themselves.

A person who is neither good nor bad is a person who does not respect the interests of others but it is because they do not know or comprehend what those interests are - these people naturally interfere with the happiness of others on occasion, but that is not their main intent, for they are simply trying to gain happiness for themselves.

A person who is bad knows the interests of others and still decides to not respect these interests, a person who knowingly interferes with the happiness of others without caring.

In shorter terms...

A good person is a loyal spouse/a respectful friend.

A person who is not good or bad is a flirtatious spouse/a flirtatious friend.

A person who is bad is a cheater/a boyfriend or girlfriend stealer friend.

My definitions, obviously, are very clearly based off relationships. Sorry was pissed at someone a while ago. :)

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

A good person is someone who generally cares for the well being of others and actively tries to help to the extent of their ability.

A person who is not good or bad is someone who notices where they may be needed but won't necessary go out of their way to do anything about it. However, if the task seems easy enough they might do it.

A bad person is someone who doesn't care to help others and only cares for themselves.

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSonia

your blog obviously does not know about daylight savings.... COME ON!!!!

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteralso

A good person is a person who thinks of what would be best for others but also him- or herself and tries his or her best to achiev these things.

A person who is not good but not bad is a person who might also have ideas what he or she can change for others or him- or herself to improve life but is just too lazy or too afraid to take action.

A bad person is a person who does not think about others and what he or she might be able to change for a better tomorrow or he or she even comes up with ways of interfearing with other peoples persue of happiness!

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTobias

...by the way:

Should there be definitions for "good" and "bad" people? I know this might be a pretty old-fashioned argument, but is there any person who can be exclusively be considered "good" and on the other hand any person who can be exclusively seen as "bad"? It does very often not only depend on the perspective but also on the focus one uses to come up with a category..

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTobias

A good person is someone who is capable of showing love for others and thus treats others in a way that they themselves would like to be treated (assuming nobody wants to be treated badly).

A person who is neither good nor bad at ANY level is not possible, or at least EXTREMELY RARE. One is either capable of loving or they are not, thus at some level they fall into one of the two categories mentioned here.

A bad person is someone who may or may not love themselves yet nonetheless is incapable of loving others, thus having no sense of how to treat others.

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTony Rivera

A good person is a person who performs and shares good deeds with all peoples simply because they like to.

A person who is not good but not bad is someone who likes to do good and decent things but chooses not to because of whatever reason.

A bad person is a person who uses other humans purely for their own benefit and does not regard other humans with love and dignity.

it's realllllly hard to say who is bad and good and what even defines those terms, but here is an abridged version of my reply.

November 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNeema

At last, I could find your post again. You have few useful tips for my school project. Now, I won't forget to bookmark it. :)

January 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteruseful tips

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